As the economy continues to heat up, dealerships are increasingly being cramped by lack of available space and staff to accommodate the rush of customers. In a real sense, in many locations, capacity continues to be the main issue in a lot of Dealership’s quest for higher and higher production. Lack of capacity from the talent side and the facility side of the equation.
Many dealers I know are currently scrambling to hire techs, ramp up their in-house training regimens to grow techs. Some are creating building plans when possible and making other arrangements for more stalls and ultimately add to the footprint of the fixed ops department and add space for Parts and Service.
Even though tech and facility capacity is such an issue what I see everyday is stores are still lacking (and maybe even more because of the amount of work they have backlogged) execution of basic processes that WILL definitely put more bottom line profit if we can get them executed.
Often, when there is more work than get done shops start losing their grip on basics, further compounding the situation, causing profits and CSI to slip!
Here are some of the pitfalls of having “too much” work I’ve seen happen elsewhere
- Customer Status and Promise times go stale – Customers left in the dark too long
- Advisors greeting, walkaround and advising of needed services gets skipped at write up
- The cars don’t get inspected and additional sales don’t get offered… Customers go without needed services (Some of which are definitely safety related!)
- RO’s stay open way too long
- Cars get forgotten in the mix
- Because vehicles are at the store so long before the customers concerns are addressed, the customer is not in the mood (and the Advisor may be scared to offer) to buy additional needed service discovered in the diagnosis and inspection processes.
- All of this negatively impacts CSI and Average Dollars per Customer
Keep in mind if we already have an RO on the car, it’s in our shop and already being worked on; an additional upsell is the most efficient type of work we can do at this point!
Often we can get these additional sales done while we are overlapping with another CP labor operation. This is a triple win situation, The customer wins from added thoroughness and convenience, the dealership, advisors and techs win from increased sales and better customer satisfaction in general.
- It’s really just incremental math let’s look at an example;
- REMEMBER 1000 CP RO’s TIMES .2 per RO ADDS a lot of money from existing traffic!
- .2 HRS X $100 ELR = $20 in labor PLUS Parts at a 1.25 ratio (Conservative Goal) = $25 in parts TOTAL = $45.00 PER RO
- SO .2 per RO ON A 1000 RO’S equals $45,000 in additional GROSS PROFIT from existing cars you are already working on!
BACK TO BASICS
I would encourage you to look at all of your Service Processes and reboot them 1 by 1 to help ensure they are getting focused on and everyone is on the same page. Perhaps pick 1 process and reboot it for a good 60 days to ensure it becomes habitual again. Don’t start on the next process until this one is mastered! Perhaps use contests and incentives to make it fun and top-of-mind during the 60 day reboot period
- Pre-Write Up Process
- Appointment / Reservation Process
- Write Up Process: Greeting / Rapport / Walkaround / Offering additional needed and previously declined services.
- MPI Process (Especially related to TIMING / CONSISTENCY and QUALITY)
- PASR (Prioritized Additional Service Request) Process
- Customer Status Process
- Active Delivery Process
- Survey Review Process (with Customer)
Each Service process listed above lends to maximizing current traffic if done effectively. Short cuts, often caused by being overwhelmed, short-circuit success! Particularly surrounding your two main selling situations; At Write Up and Post Inspection PASR’s (Prioritized Additional Service Requests) you will find hidden efficiencies in adding additional work. There’s often a tsunami of additional legitimate services customers will accept that is just waiting for an earthquake… As Managers, that’s where YOU COME IN!
Good luck in your quest!